Opioid Use Grows Among Young People

By Staff Writer

Heroin addiction is a growing problem among the nation’s youths, as many of the individuals who seek substance abuse treatment for the problem are in their early 20s. Some are even younger.

A recent study by Johns Hopkins University researchers found that opioid use among 12th graders increased by 135 percent between 2003 and 2008. Experts say that the low cost of heroin and its powerful high make it attractive to young people. Additionally, they say that the drug has been made stronger in recent years, making it even more addictive.

“We’ve seen a doubling in the increase of opiate-related deaths in the last three or four years,” Steve Levy, a county executive in Suffolk, New York, told ABC News. “It’s in a very pure form these days. It’s not the heroin of the previous generation.”

The news source reports that these factors have led many people under the age of 25 to experiment with heroin, which has cause an explosion in addiction rates. Many of these people have dependencies that require substance abuse treatment.